Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)

New Hope for Infertile Young Women

FRIDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) — A new study contradicts the conventional wisdom about a common condition called primary ovarian insufficiency that can cause infertility in young women.

Even though the condition causes symptoms similar to those experienced by women during menopause, researchers found that females still have immature eggs in their ovaries.

The findings raise “the possibility of developing treatments for the infertility that accompanies the condition,” Dr. Alan E. Guttmacher, acting director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), said in a news release from the NIH.

An estimated 1% of women develop primary ovarian insufficiency, also known as premature ovarian failure, by the time they turn 40. They experience hot flashes and stop having regular menstrual periods, although hormone treatment can treat the symptoms in some cases.

Most women with the condition are infertile, although even after the diagnosis, up to 10% become pregnant unexpectedly.

In the new study, researchers Dr. Lawrence M. Nelson of the NICHD and his colleagues used ultrasound to assess the growth process of the women’s follicles — small sacs in the ovary that become eggs. The researchers were surprised to find that 73% of 97 women with primary ovarian insufficiency had ovarian follicles. In addition, they found that the follicles could produce reproductive hormones.

The findings appear online April 26 in the journal Fertility and Sterility.
— Randy Dotinga

How Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Can Help
Premature Ovarian Failure

The average age most women go into premature ovarian failure is precisely when they should achieve their reproductive prime. Something has halted this process. Sometimes it’s physical. Oftentimes there is a deep seated emotional component. Yet, the remedy is, always, to gently restore all aspects of her body, mind, and soul.  The communication between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and ovaries needs to be opened up. This is not only a physical process, but one that can include all aspects of a woman’s life that may be preventing this open communication.

Although treatment of POF may be challenging for the TCM practitioner, the results are extremely rewarding, because Chinese medicine is one of the most effective ways to address POF. TCM views most cases of POF as a combination of excess and deficiency patterns that cause the Penetrating and Conception meridians to become “empty.” The lack of menstrual bleeding tells us that there is also a deficiency in Blood. Blood deficiency may be due to an obstruction, but in mostPOF cases it is due to deficient Blood production, usually from faltering Spleen energies or insufficient Kidney Yin. If a woman is experiencing short cycles, early ovulation, and heat signs like night sweats and hot flashes, there is also concurrent heat.

A typical treatment will consist of:

  1. Removing blockages
  2. Clearing heat (toxins)
  3. Tonifying/Nourishing

Through:

  1. Acupuncture
  2. Dietary modifications
  3. Herbal therapy
  4. Massage to increase blood flow to the pelvic organs
  5. Avoidance of toxins